The 2015 season (sadly) comes to an end on Saturday evening when the Kissimmee-Osceola Kowboys take on the Flanagan Falcons out of Pembroke Pines in the Class 8A state championship game at the Citrus Bowl in Orlando. Perhaps–they may have saved the best for last in this instance as the Kowboys look to redeem themselves from last seasons’ debacle against St. Thomas Aquinas in the 7A title game. The Falcons are here for the first time, but bring a LOADED squad–especially on defense–but Osceola’s personal shangri-la consists of running the ball and playing physical defense as well. It’s a styles-make-fights type of affair this weekend and here are eight different areas that have you covered entering this contest.
1. BACKGROUND INFO
*Flanagan’s Head Coach–Devin Bush Sr.–is trying to win a state championship ring to go with the national championship and a super bowl ring. Bush Sr. was member of FSU’s 1993 title squad and a member of the St. Louis Rams when they defeated Tennessee in 1999-2000.
*Flanagan’s Defense has posted six shutouts this year including three consecutive shutouts to start the postseason.
*Flanagan features the sons of two former FSU standouts–the aforementioned Devin Bush Sr. (Devin Bush Jr.) and Stanford Samuels II–father of Stanford Samuels III.
*Osceola has one state championship to their credit–1998 in The Swamp with a 28-14 win over Estero. Legendary coach Jim Scible was the leader for the Kowboys that night.
*The Kowboys are playing for a state championship for the second year in a row–in two different classes. Osceola were defeated by St. Thomas Aquinas in the 7A title game last season.
*The two teams have combined for 235 penalties totaling 2,433 yards this season.
Flanagan’s standout prospects:
QB – Kato Nelson (6-1/205) -committed to Akron
WR – Dedrick Snelson (6-0/205) -committed to Minnesota
WR – Jahcour Pearson (5-9/180) -committed to Northern Illinois
MLB – Devin Bush Jr. (6-0/230) -choosing between FSU and Michigan this month
MLB – Devin Gil (6-1/215) -committed to Michigan
SS – Josh Metellus (6-0/200) -committed to Michigan
CB – Rocco Marruci (6-0/170) -committed to Colorado State
FS – Javkhari Bourdeau (5-10/175) -committed to Army
Osceola’s standout prospects:
RB – LaDerrien Wilson (5-10/200) -committed to Virginia
CB – Carlos Becker (6-2/180) -Top 5 of NC State, Kentucky, FSU, Wisconsin, Ole Miss
3. OFFENSIVE LEADERS
Flanagan’s Total Offense this season – 3,053 yards (1,215-rush/1,838-passing)
Osceola Total Offense this season – 4,275 yards (4,090-rush/185-passing)
Flanagan’s Rushing Leader: QB Kato Nelson (60c-325-5TD’s)
Osecola’s Rushing Leader(s):
LaDerrien Wilson – 1,447 yards, 19TD’s
Malcolm Davidson – 830 yards, 6TD’s
Marcus Edwards – 696 yards, 6TD’s
Nazayah Brown – 616 yards, 9TD’s
Osceola’s Receiving Leader: WB Marcus Edwards 5 catches, 147 yards, 2TD’s
Flanagan’s Receiving Leader(s):
Jahcour Pearson 31-486-2
Clevan Thomas 30-400-7
Dredrick Snelson 24-378-4
4. DEFENSIVE LEADERS
Osceola – Dwight Pinellas (86 tackles), TJ Kelly (8 sacks)
Flanagan – Devin Bush Jr (60 tackles), Devin Gil (48 tackles), Josh Metellus (50 tackles, 5.5 sacks)
5. OSCEOLA OFFENSE vs. FLANAGAN DEFENSE
Osceola plays a Wing-T and will lineup against a 3-4 front of Flanagan’s. The Kowboys Offensive Line averages 6-0.5-feet/271-pounds while the Falcons DL averages 6-0.5-feet/216-pounds. Osceola’s running backs average 5-foot-10/185-pounds in size while the Falcons linebackers average 6-foot-2/200-pounds. The Falcons safeties average 5-feet-11/187-pounds and their cornerbacks average 6-foot-1/175-pounds. The Kowboys start eight seniors and three juniors on offense while Flanagan starts nine seniors, one junior and one sophomore.
6. FLANAGAN OFFENSE vs. OSCEOLA DEFENSE
Flanagan implements a spread offense while the Kowboys will counter that with a 4-3 front. The Falcons OL averages 6-foot-2/271-pounds to Osecola’s DL that averages 6-feet/238-pounds. Flanagan’s wide receivers average 5-feet-10/197-pounds while their running backs average 5-feet-10.5/188-pounds. Osceola’s linebackers average 5-feet-10/177-pounds, while their safeties average 5-feet-11/170-pounds and their cornerbacks average 5-feet-10/185-pounds. Flanagan starts nine seniors and two juniors on offense while the Kowboys start five seniors, two juniors and four sophomores.
7. COACH SPEAK – DOUG NICHOLS (OSCEOLA)
On the opportunity to play for a title for a second consecutive season – “It’s a great opportunity to get a second chance to play for a ring especially for our senior guys. It’s just awesome for our community being so close and we look forward to getting a big crowd out to support us on Saturday night.”
On what they learned from last year’s defeat to Aquinas – “I think it’s just the experience of being there. Maybe we won’t be so wide-eyed when we walk in. That was one of the things that we talked about as we started this run through the playoffs. We’ve now been to this stage and we took advantage of that against a West Orange team last week that had never been to a state semifinals.”
On what jumps out about Flanagan – “Obviously it’s their defense. You can tell they’re very well coached and their an extremely physical football team.”
8. COACH SPEAK – DEVIN BUSH SR (FLANAGAN)
On the chance to play for a ring–Flanagan’s first opportunity to do so – “We’re super excited. We’ve been wanting a chance to participate in this game for a long time. It’s a dream come true for my staff and my players and for the community known as Dirty Bird Nation, so it’s just very exciting to participate in such a special event.”
On going against a tradition like Osceola’s – “It’s really tough when you have a team that’s got that kind of tradition that Osecola has. It’s not by mistake they’re in this game. They have a lot of things in place–they know what they’re doing. The staff knows how to get those guys prepared. It’s very tough when you go against something like that and that mindset.”
On how he plans to prepare for Osceola – “It’s hard enough to deal with everything they bring to the table at once–we can’t focus on what THEY’VE done at the moment–really we need to focus on matching their intensity and their belief system.”